Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beating Retreat at Vijay Chowk

This is the first time I got the opportunity to witness the Beating Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk in Delhi.

This ceremony is held every year on the 29th of January and it marks the official end of the Republic Day celebrations. It had been a cold day and so carried extra woollies to protect from the chill that comes down as the sun slowly dips into the western horizon.

The different groups of bandsmen in uniforms were ready by the time the President, Pratibha Patil reached. She was seen waving to the people from her car. Soon the Tricolour was unfurled with the first sound of the drums and Vijay Chowk resonating with the notes of our National Anthem as people stood up in respect.

The President took her seat with the three Service Chiefs seated behind her.

There were camels decked in colourful attires with men seated on their backs and stood on top on both sides of the North and South Blocks. They looked so disciplined as they stood still without making any movements at all. Soon horses came along with the motorcade of the President and took their positions.

As the national flag fluttered with the soft cool breeze, the band started playing. Everything is so organised and time bound and disciplined that the function started right on time. The ceremony opened with a parade by select contingent of Armed forces band. The next one hour was filled with music and sound created by the drummers, trumpeters, buglers, bagpipers, the brass bands, the bagpipers, which impressed all those present for the ceremony. Two new tunes were played this year for this occasion.

As the buglers sounded the “Retreat”, the flag was lowered and people stood up to catch a glimpse. And then the bands started marching up the Raisana Hills with the sound of the favourite tune, “Saare jahan se accha”. The camels and horses were seen moving away and disappearing from sight.

When we thought the ceremony had come to an end, there was something very spectacular that caught the eyes. Dusk had descended and light was fading and at that moment, all on a sudden, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Parliament, the North and South Blocks suddenly lit up. They were decked up with thousands of electric bulbs. This was indeed a moment that I can never forget...hypnotising moment. The lights kept people looking at the buildings as though they have been mesmerized by some charm or spell.

No one was allowed to carry cameras or mobile phones with them as they entered the restricted area. There was heavy security and commandos were perched on tower tops close by There was four checking points before getting seated. From the place where we had our seats, the view was very good. The saddest part was I could not take pictures of this ceremony. How long it will last in my memory....but surely I’ll tell my grandchildren about it...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Housewife and her Kitty Party

She is a housewife, never did any job. Her husband is a government officer, a Class 1 Officer. She has two children and a house in Delhi. One child is away from home, studying abroad, and the younger one busy with her studies. Her husband is posted in another city and away from the family. So what does Mrs. S do in her free time?

Speaking to her the other day, S my friend spoke out her heart. I have known her for quite some time, yet don’t know her. I’m not a person who likes to peep into others lives. But some friends are close and speak out their mind frankly, discuss their problems and I too do the same with them

But S, she’s an introvert. Then how does she cope up with her Kitty Group.

...look around for answer...

Kitty Party has never been in my list for recreation. I hate these groups...my simple thought...I hate gossip and wasting my time into doing nothing but only loosening my purse for few hours of pleasure.

And S, she’s a member of a Kitty Party. Every fortnight the group comes together and have fun. But S again is not a fun-loving person. So how does she cope up with her group?

...scratch my head...

The other day she came up to me and spoke about her Kitty Party group. I came to know she has been with her Kitty group for the past six years. With her husband away and children busy with their studies, she has lots of spare time. So she liked the idea of joining a Kitty Party.

The regular get together was a way of spending her time to get rid of the boredom. But now she feels she is wasting her time in that group. New members have joined who are financially very sound and show off their clothes and jewellery. There’s a lot of gossiping, mostly back- biting, that’s what she told me.

Then, there was a time when she had liked all this. She had been so enthusiastic about her Kitty Party.

...why this sudden change?

I could read from her words that competition among each other has grown. Jealousy is another factor. Younger members, younger than her, have joined the group. Topics for discussion don’t match with each other. And gossip and back biting has topped the list.

At last she has realised she gains nothing out of her group, only return home with a headache and a mind full of ill thoughts.

Now, though she wants to stay away, she says, it’s not easy. But she can if she wants to, that’s what I told her.

And to add few more words about it I said, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”.

She gave me a hug and we went home. Hope she finds her way out.

Share your thought about Kitty Party.

Friday, January 14, 2011

When the Year 2011 came in...

This year came and I have made no resolutions. I know I don’t have to think much for there is so much to see, read, learn and think about.

The year came in as Onion Tears were being shed.

Take a thousand rupee note to the market and the bag comes home half filled after the buying only few monthly grocery items for the home...Indian Economy...Economist heading our country.

News about Murder, Rape, Robbery, has become a daily news item...when fear has been sidelined...it happens.

Watch the powerful politicians going around as though they are carrying the country on their palms...you live or die they’ll make thoughtful claims once the elections come round the corner.

Scams, scandals and all the drivel in the news...make money while the sun shines...when in power...hahaha.

I have no time to think about making New Year resolutions...for to think or not to think is the same for me at present.

Why rise my stress level...just accept what’s happening...doesn’t mean I’ll keep mum when I see something wrong...will raise my voice...hear you may...or ignore...a resolution...did I make one???